Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two Days

The last two days of my father's life
he mumbled to himself over the hiss
of the oxygen tank.
Breathlessly.
Frantically.
Eyelids lowered like windowshades,
pulled tight against that encroaching storm.
It's possible he was talking to angels,
messengers from another world come to claim him.
Perhaps old ghosts from his past, but
I'd like to think, at least part of that time,
he was recalling how my mother's hair
moved in the breeze when he first met her,
how pleased he was on the day
I crooned 'da da', the taste of fried green tomatoes
shared round our table late on a fall evening.

At the end of the second day,
I lay my head on his chest,
strained for one last glimpse into his eyes.
The shade finally fluttered.
For that second,
that one halleluja chorus second,
he saw me.
A tear slid down his cheek to my hand.
A baptism of sorts.
A christening.
A blessing of our time here on earth together.
A goodbye.

14 comments:

Pat Paulk said...

Beautiful tribute/beautiful goodbye.

pepektheassassin said...

This one made me cry! It might've been my dad and me, right down to the fried green tomatoes.... Thank you

Pris said...

Pat, thank you..and Pepe, those nights were special eating fried green tomatoes with my father. My mother didn't esp like them, so on my visits, we'd go into the kitchen before bed, pull down the cast iron skillet, and he'd always make them. He loved to cook certain things and this was one. Your dad sounds really special!

its_baxter said...

this is beautiful

Pris said...

Thank you, and welcome to my blog!

polona said...

oh, this is a beautiful, moving poem and a great tribute to your dad!

Pris said...

Thanks, polona!

Ellen M Johns said...

This is so special Pris.

I love the last five lines...

Lyle Daggett said...

Oh this is just beautiful, Pris.

Endment said...

beautiful tribute - i am going after kleenex.....

Pris said...

All of you, thank you so much. My father was so special to me. I'm glad I was with him when he died. It'll be 20 years this Christmas.

Natalia L. Rudychev said...

Moving and beautiful tribute to the bond between father and daughter.

Geoff Sanderson said...

Pris, you walk such a sure poetic line, full of feeling but never sentimental; you enlarge our world with each new poem. Thank you.

Pris said...

Natalia and g, thank you!